What ho, groovers. I trust you all had a "cool yule" as the Nathan Barleyesque youngsters say in fashionable Stourbridge these days.
Who would have thought that aching kidneys, throbbing temples, bad skin and a torn arse would be the upshot of such Michael Winner-esque indulgences? Go figure!
(Another Stourbridge expression, you square-ohs probably wouldn't have heard it yet).
Anyhow, I haven't gathered you round to tubbyboohoo about a little indigestion and a mild hangover like some grizzling old putz. I'm here to drop a bit of etiquette advice on your asses.
I know, it's very generous of me, but that's what I'm all about. I live to give.
Firstly, there are rules that decent minded folk should all observe when they are a-visiting. If you are a guest at somebody's house for Christmas dinner, for example, there are certain dos and don'ts that apply.
Why not check them off yourself as you read, if, like me, you have recently imposed on the holiday spirit of any of your friends.
* Do compliment the host or hostess on the quality of the food. (Check. Half a point off for drunkenly mumbling "Eeeh, that was bliddy lovely, that" after each course)
* Don't bring the language of the saloon bar or the billiard hall to the table. Coarse expressions have no place at a genteel family gathering. (Would "Hey, look at you, you're sweating like a fat dog's balls!" be considered untoward, these days, I wonder? Ahem.)
* Do bring something to the table other than a healthy trencherman's appetite. An amusing anecdote or an interesting opinion can add sparkle to the conversation between courses. (Check. A graphic recounting of the recent Sunderland roasting footballers episode can certainly be relied upon to liven up proceedings)
* Don't just sit there when it's time to pitch in and get the dishes done (Oops!)
* Do know when to leave. A suitable time might, for instance, be when your host's family have all left and his girlfriend has turned up, eager to spend some quality time with him. (What? Even if you're right comfortable on the couch and it's freezing outside?)
* Don't hang around for a further three hours, making increasingly thinly-veiled and unwelcome insinuations that a sexual threesome might be a suitable modern-day alternative to charades. Comments regarding the Chuckle Brothers "To me, to you" catchphrase, playing cards over a lady's back and Christmas being a time for sharing, know what I mean, are not appropriate behaviour for a guest. (Listen here, we aren't really carrying on with this keeping score deal here, are we? Isn't it warm in here, eh?)
Christmas Day, eh? It's a modern day manners minefield, what?
Which brings us, with a pleasing inevitability, to Boxing Day. Again, ruthlessly exploiting the generosity of my friends, I pitch up a party and proceed to eat before and after me, all the while a-swilling on their best booze.
Now, the host of the party has a rather mischievous sense of humour. It can only have been this that led him, when issuing invitations to the party, to inform one couple that guests were expected to attend in Fancy Dress. Knowing the psychology of this couple and their love for getting all dressed up, no resistance to this suggestion was expected or encountered.
It's possible there are more enjoyable sights than two poor unfortunates entering a crowded house-party during the day, he dressed as a Mexican bandito, complete with outsized sombrero, colourful poncho and stick-on moustache, she wearing a charming, if a littl infantile, red-nosed reindeer outfit.
It's possible but unlikely. Further spice was added by the fact that half of the guests were strangers to the couple, being visiting members of the host's family. Bemusement all round was the order of the day to all but a few of us.
A rather cruel trick, one feels, but a dashed funny one. Totally beadled, as my fashionista chums would probably say.
Although I have since learned that the aforementioned media ponce-infested district is in face Shoreditch and not Stourbridge, as I may have erroneously stated.
I am a cowing fool and no mistaking. Have a bostin' New Year, me ducks!